Tips for Community Hurricane Season Preparation
Hurricane season is upon us and as most Floridians know, hurricanes can cause a lot of damage. Even in low category hurricanes, trees fall over and roads get flooded. During high category hurricanes, the damage can be much more severe. Once you know a hurricane is headed your way, you don't have much time to prepare, so it's essential that you prepare beforehand.
We've put together a list of 5 tips for community hurricane season preparation. This list doesn't cover them all, as many condos and HOAs have different needs, but it will get you started.
- The first thing you need to do is decide how the association will function before the hurricane. Make sure everyone knows what their roles are during this time. Is your community association responsible for putting up shutters or is that the responsibility of residents? You need to have this all decided beforehand so that no one is rushing to prepare up until the last minute.
- Prepare the area. Whether or not you actually get hit by the hurricane, you need to be prepared beforehand. Remove all furniture (or anything that can be projected) from outdoor areas, test the generator if you have one and purchase supplies like water and batteries so that you don't have to worry about stores closing. Move equipment located at ground level to higher areas so you don't have to worry about flooding and move all association documents to a safe area.
- Alert residents of upcoming storm. Most residents will already know, but you should still alert them of an upcoming storm. Try to figure out who will be in the community during the storm and send residents information about medical and emergency services, as well as evacuation routes.
- Decide and inform residents of what will be available during the storm. If it's a condo association, the elevators may not be running, but the common room may be open. If you're in a neighborhood, chances are that most things will be closed to deter residents from traveling outside during the severe weather. Once you've decided what is going to remain open and what will be closed, you MUST inform the residents.
- Plan for the aftermath. With any natural disaster, there is always the chance of devastating effects. Figure out what you will do in the case that there is no damage, as well as what you will do in the worst case scenario.
Hurricanes are stressful, and the last thing you want to worry about once one hits is securing your community, which is why it's so important to plan ahead. Have clearly defined hurricane procedures for before, during, and after and alert residents so they don't feel as though they are alone in dealing with the disaster. You can't avoid a hurricane, but you can make sure you're as prepared as possible to deal with one.